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Thursday, June 02, 2011 - DIS professor respected for going extra mile for his students, his field

David Doane can’t remember a time when he didn’t incorporate technology into his instruction.


“At Oakland University, I’ve been able to follow my instincts in using computers to teach statistics,” says Doane, professor, quantitative methods, in SBA’s department of Decision and Information Sciences. “In the beginning, they were extremely large computers that filled rooms.”


Since beginning his career with Oakland in 1969, Doane has consistently gone the extra mile to help others master and use statistics effectively. As a result, he has received accolades from his students and his peers as an educator, researcher, author, software developer and leader in his field.


One of the first


Most recently, in December 2010, Doane earned professional accreditation from the American Statistical Association. He is among the first 100 statisticians to receive this certification, which calls for a strong record of writing and professional service. “They also look carefully at your record of ongoing professional development,” says Doane, an ASA member since 1975 and past president of the Detroit chapter.


“The certification is an honor and a capstone for my career,” Doane says.


Doane also is at work these days on the fourth edition of his textbook, Applied Statistics in Business and Economics, due to be published in 2012.


In addition, the Journal of Applied Statistics has accepted a recent article by Doane for publication. The article describes a project by Doane, a large-scale simulation study on developing critical values for skewness measures -- using R language. When describing probability distributions, skewness refers to asymmetry of the distribution. R is a programming language for statistical computing.


Projects like these have helped Doane qualify for ASA accreditation. During the course of his career, Doane's articles have appeared in such prestigious publications as the International Journal of Business Information Systems, Alliance Journal of Business Research, Journal of Statistical Education, Journal of Education for Business, Journal of Information Technology, College Mathematics Journal, Property Tax Journal, Journal of Comparative Economics, The Justice System Journal, Michigan Law Review, The American Statistician and Explorations in Economic History.


Doane’s contributions to his field, also noted by the ASA, extend to helping professionals further their understanding of statistics and their many real-world applications, from customer surveys in marketing to the evaluation of new business methodologies in management. Doane has presented educational seminars at businesses, hospitals and to CPAs to help professionals learn how to best put statistics – and technology -- to work in their particular fields.


In addition to his involvement with the American Statistical Association, Doane has been a member of INFORMS, which represents professionals in operational research and the management sciences. INFORMS provides members with educational opportunities, which have contributed benefits and savings to corporations, government and the nonprofit sector. INFORMS also connects members with research in their field and provides a job bank.


Doane also has served as a journal referee and as a consultant to health care organizations and government.


Making real connections


Doane not only finds satisfaction in his career accomplishments, but he also enjoys the day-to-day interactions with those around him at Oakland. “We’re lucky to have a wonderful staff and wonderful faculty here. I like going to work.”


Oakland University is small enough, he said, to have regular interaction not only with those in the SBA, but with representatives from the university’s other schools and college as well.


Doane also values the opportunities to get to know his students over the years. He is still in touch with a number of them, including Glen Rader, a student from early in Doane’s career who helped with grading responsibilities. “Yes, we called him Rader the Grader,” Doane says.


Another former student, Ed Vesely, later served as a flight instructor for Doane. Vesely went on to own and fly WW II war birds and now is a broker for jet aircraft in Houston.


A number of SBA alumni have mentioned Doane while reflecting on their years at Oakland.


Linda Voss, SBA ’82, chief operations officer and chief financial officer of Ally Commercial Finance, credits Doane’s statistics and econometrics classes for increasing her interest in analytics.


Tamara Davidson, MBA '84, says statistics with Doane was her favorite class at Oakland. “It made sense, and I could tie back to my chemistry degree,” says Davidson, director of supply chain management for MacDermid, a chemical supply company.


A well-rounded professor


Doane doesn’t fly very much today, but he can say he has 15 minutes of “stick time,” when he took the controls of a B-25 over Houston, thanks to Vesely.


Doane will be returning to Houston this June to compete in the National Senior Olympics. He will be competing in five swimming events, in which he has medaled in at the state level. Doane got his start with the Michigan Senior Olympics in 2008. “It took a lot of time and preparation, but was a lot of fun, too,” he said after his first year. “I met some nice people and am still working out with the (Rochester) Older Persons' Commission Swim Team.”


Doane may be competing in senior events, but he is showing no signs of slowing his pace. In fact, by accepting his ASA accreditation, Doane committed to a minimum of 60 hours per year of additional training and professional development. He plans to remain busy, both in his professional world and in his personal interests, for some time to come.

By Flori Meeks